New Rubber: Serfas Vermin Tires

Last summer I purchased a set of Continental Double Fighter II tires for the Long Haul Trucker, and I’ve used these as my default gravel road tires ever since.

I selected them for the relatively smooth center tread — which roll pretty well on both pavement and smooth gravel roads — and the knobby sides, which provide a little extra grip in corners and on loose surfaces.

I’ve been happy with the tires, and they served me well for about 2000 miles, with good performance and very few flats. But after that point, they flatted rather too often for my taste, and I resolved to see if I could find something perhaps with a Kevlar belt to protect against thorns (the cause of most of my flats).

My search led me to Serfas. It’s not one of the better-known names in tires, but I’d used a Serfas Barista on the back of my recumbent a couple years ago, and had been happy with the flat resistance, durability, and performance.

Turns out, Serfas has a tire very similar to the Double Fighters, called the “Vermin”.

The Vermin has basically the same tread pattern as the Double Fighter — semi-slick in the middle, knobs on the sides — but adds what the call a “Flat Protection System”, which “creates an armor-like shield between two distinct rubber casings for unrivaled puncture resistance.”

Sounds good.

The Vermin has front-specific and rear-specific versions (unlike the Double Fighters). The only difference seems to be extra ridges on the rear version, which makes it slightly heavier than the front, but both are still lighter than the Continentals (590/615 grams vs. 790 grams). They also cost a bit less than the Conti’s, which never hurts.

I’ve ordered and received the new tires, but haven’t mounted them up yet. I’m looking to get a few more miles out of the Continentals. Hopefully they’ll last long enough for me to save the Vermins for the Dirty Kanza.

Here are some photos, first of the Continental Double Fighter II and then the Serfas Vermin front and rear:

This is my rear tire (Continental Double Fighter II) after nearly 3000 miles. Not much left, and that crack looks troublesome…

The front tire (not pictured) has decent tread left, so for now, I’ve swapped the front tire to the rear wheel, and the rear to the front (adding a boot — an extra layer of old inner tube and duct tape — to the crack). I’ll see how long that lasts.

And here are the Serfas Vermin rear and front tires — side view.

Here are the Serfas Vermin front and rear tires — tread view.

DirtBum Written by:

I enjoy riding bicycles all over -- city streets, suburbia, rural roads, gravel roads, dirt roads, rail-trails, and singletrack. I love exploring the countryside and finding the interesting and historical treasures hidden in plain sight. You can follow my rides on Strava.

6 Comments

  1. TrailWax
    September 10, 2010

    And how would you say you like them after their first month? All things going well? I consider choosing Vermin as my next set of tires. It is definitely time because I have a sidewall split on the front and I can see a navy-bean-sized bulge of tube protruding when at pressure.

  2. DirtBum
    September 12, 2010

    I have about a thousand miles on them by now, and they’ve been very rugged so far. I’ve had one flat so far, but I can’t say any tire would have stopped this particular thorn (http://www.thedirtbum.com/wp-content/uploads/Thorn-Flat.jpg).

    My impression is that the tires “feel” kind of slow, compared to the Continental Double Fighter II’s. Perhaps it’s just because they’re new, and the Conti’s were well-worn. Not sure.

    I like their comfort level — they feel plenty cush, and I’ve seen no problems with slippage. They’re certainly good enough to keep using, and I will.

    Not sure about whether I’ll buy them again when it’s time. I may think about going a little skinnier and slicker…

  3. bikerbay
    November 26, 2011

    I ride the irrigation canals in Yuma, AZ, during the winter. The surface varies from hard pack sand to soft sand with occasional crushed rock – gravel stretches. Over a five year period the Serfa Vermins have held up very well. I can usually get 1500-2000 miles on them and the puncture resistance (lots of thorn of every size and variety in the sand) has been very good. BTW, I ride the fronts on both front and rear because that’s all the bike shops down here stock….doesn’t seem to be a problem.

  4. eric schmidt
    December 17, 2011

    I just traded my huffy beach cruiser for a schwin mtn bike with these tires awsome trade……yuma az sucks 4 the goathead thorns…….

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